5 Questions to Ask When You Can’t Let It Go post image

“John,” the CEO of a fast-growing start-up, was visibly frustrated when I asked him what he needed me to work on with his team. “I love my team. And they care so much! They’re full of great ideas….”

I waited for the BUT.

“BUT,” Sometimes they get stuck on an idea and can’t move on. We’re moving fast and sometimes that means failing fast and letting go of ideas that didn’t work. Can you put some of that into your Winning Well bootcamp for them?”

I love it when curriculum design becomes blog post fodder.

Now the truth is, there was more to this story as I unraveled the layers… a solid dance of knowing when to hold-em, fold-em, walk away and run.  We worked on both letting go AND how to P.E.R.S.U.A.D.E. your boss.

5 Questions to Ask When You Can’t Let It Go

If you’re in a position where others are encouraging you to “let it go” when your heart says “hold on,” here are few questions to help you decide.

  1. Why am I so passionate about my idea or way of doing things?
    Are you coming from a place of true confident humility, or is fear or ego getting in the way?
  2. In one or two sentences, why am I so committed to my position?
    We must do _______ because __________ and if we don’t _________, the consequences will be __________.
  3. Who is encouraging me to let it go and why?
    It’s highly likely they have additional perspective. Be sure you understand it.
  4. What are the potential consequences to the big picture if I don’t let it go?
    Take time to really understand the pros and cons.
  5. If you were to let it go, where else could you focus your time?
    Sometimes you have to lose a battle to win the war. Fighting and holding on takes time and energy. What else can you accomplish?

The truth is, sometimes the answer is to let it go–holding on too tightly to your position, can slow down results and damage your career. AND sometimes the answer is to fight for what you know is right for the business and the people within it.

Winning Well Bootcamp

P.S. Speaking of managing up, this week I was honored to do a guest post for my friend, Dan Rockwell, on his Leadership Freak blog, entitled What to Do if Your Boss is a Wuss. 

Your turn. What questions do you ask when you have trouble letting go?
Filed Under:   winning well
Karin Hurt
Karin Hurt
Karin Hurt helps leaders around the world achieve breakthrough results, without losing their soul. A former Verizon Wireless executive, she has over two decades of experience in sales, customer service, and HR. She was recently named on Inc's list of 100 Great Leadership Speakers, AMA's 50 Leaders to Watch in 2015, & Top Thought Leader in Trust by Trust Across America. She’s the author of 2 books: Winning Well: A Manager's Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul and Overcoming an Imperfect Boss.

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What People Are Saying

LaRae Quy   |   04 August 2016   |   Reply

I love it when real life experiences provide such good fodder for a post…your response makes it more practical and spot-on…as was this one.

This is what really struck me—Q: Why am I so passionate about my idea or way of doing things? A: Are you coming from a place of true confident humility, or is fear or ego getting in the way?

More often than not, the biggest elephant in the room is our own ego. And sometimes it’s not about being unwilling to let go of a pet project; often, it’s more about fear of moving on that keeps us tethered to the same old way of thinking…

Karin Hurt   |   13 August 2016   |   Reply

LaRae, Thanks as always and so true! It’s often tough to get past our own ego to see the bigger picture.

zafarmanzoor   |   05 August 2016   |   Reply

Great post indeed. All questions are really logical and leading toward a easy solution.
I appreciate the interesting comments of LARA-QUY,(3rd para): ” The biggest elephant in the room is………………….”.
Zafarmanzoor, Sr.Executive, Pakistan.

Karin Hurt   |   13 August 2016   |   Reply

Zafarmanzoor, Thank you!

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